Gnomicon 154

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  154
Wednesday 10 October 2012

Read gnomica 1-150 here!

151     152     153

Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States.  Ask any Indian.
Robert Orben  (4 Mar 1927 – )

Among the many points of heated debate in the final laps of the presidential race — one that affects millions of (essentially) innocents — is the matter of young Mexicans who through no fault of their own but only that of their parents are in the United States as illegal immigrants – and the ancillary question of what to do about ‘The Border’. They have lived here all their lives, have grown up ‘American’, perhaps don’t even speak Spanish … and now they are going to be ‘returned’ to what is for most of them an alien and unfamiliar culture – even for many of them who speak Spanish.

I admit something sticks in my craw about that one.

But I have no satisfactory answer (only some vague thoughts) to the question, “What should be done?”  Mass deportations?  Mass naturalizations?  The latter is vociferously opposed not only by many Anglos but even some of the naturalized who got here legally; the former, by a kind of general sense of the fundamental unfairness of such a move for the deported.  There probably is no resolution that will please all.

President Obama’s ‘Dream Act’ gives some indication of the contentiousness of the issue – and no small indication of an underlying hypocrisy of massive proportions.

Reverting to today’s epigraph and a more historical perspective, no such ‘issue’ exists in the case of the native inhabitants of the continent.  The naturalization as it were of the interlopers and, if one may, over the years the virtual de-naturalization so to speak of the original dwellers merit only the desultory comment here and there (as in the recent efforts of the Sioux to buy back land that was originally stolen from them in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

And, being historically deeper still, maybe scholars have been wrong about the so-called Clovis people, said to have been the first human arrivals on the continent around  11,000 BCE.  It is now standard thinking that this group did not constitute the earliest inhabitants.  The whole matter is, as one might imagine, fraught with complications, not least because of inferences drawn from the analysis (only relatively recently available as such) of DNA.

Autochthony – or ‘nativeness’ – is an ancient human preoccupation: ‘who was here first’?  It was of considerable concern to the ancient Greeks, and this concern is reflected in some of their myths.  As a kid did you ever play “my side of the bed” with a sibling or pal at some point?  Mutatis mutandis, same thing! The downside is its putative validation of claims for territorial expansion by this or that tribal or national entity – with all the unhappiness for everybody that this involves.  Think, for example, of current faux-irredentist longings in some quarters for an Aztlan

Autochthony does entail a darker side that wants always to know who was really ‘there’ first.  There is no denying, for example, that there were in fact peoples in Australia before the Europeans got there.  As there were in the Americas – but were these latter, first European peoples Hispanics … or were they Nordics?

Who, then, would have the more legitimate claims on autochthony … and some variant on something like Aztlan?

And so on and so forth …

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